Published: Jun 15, 2010 11:02 AM EDT
Updated: Jun 15, 2010 8:03 AM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Record-busting rainfall in Oklahoma led to

a day of dramatic rescues from swift floodwaters, but officials and

residents acknowledged the outcome could have been far worse.

No one had to be hospitalized Monday, according to the Oklahoma

State Department of Health. There was just one unconfirmed report

of a death, in Lawton on Monday night. Stranded motorists climbed

trees and waited for rescuers, including one crew whose boat sank

and had to be saved themselves.

"We were lucky to get the people out of the high-water areas,"

said Oklahoma City Fire Department Battalion Chief Tommy Iago.

"The places we couldn't walk them out, we used boats."

Fire officials in Oklahoma City and the nearby suburb of Edmond

launched more than 60 swift-water rescues after a barrage of

thunderstorms dumped as much as 10 inches of rain in some areas in

a matter of hours. More rain fell Monday night, and the National

Weather Service said the 7.62 inches at Will Rogers International

Airport in Oklahoma City topped the previous record of 7.53 inches

set on Sept. 22, 1970.

Cynthia Banister said fire crews had to rescue a man clinging to

a tree near her Edmond home after water topped his SUV.

"We're very thankful. Just think of what happened in Arkansas

recently," Banister said, referring to flash flooding that killed

20 people at a campground. "It could have been much worse."

One boat carrying rescuers in Oklahoma City sank just as it

reached a 17-year-old girl, forcing the firefighters to take to

treetops and await help themselves.

"This is the first time I've encountered anything close to

this," fire Lt. Joe Smith said. "It didn't feel very good. I like

to be in control of the action."

The heaviest rainfall was reported across sections of northern

Oklahoma City, forcing the closure of some roads and interstates.

The torrential downpour sent creeks and rivers over their banks,

and the raging currents ripped asphalt from roadways and blew

manhole covers from pipes.

KSWO-TV in Lawton reported on its website that witnesses told

police a taxi driver drowned Monday night while trying to push his

car out of high water. Police and sheriff's department dispatchers

would not confirm the death, and a spokesman for Comanche County -

about 80 miles southwest of Oklahoma City - did not return a call.

Betty Diehl was house-sitting at her daughter's home in Oklahoma

City when a river of water came down the road.

"The street was rolling," Diehl said. "I watched it out the

window. I said, `You could take a boat out there."'

Diehl said her daughter's home, like others in the neighborhood,

has suffered through several severe weather events in the last six

months - a December blizzard, a May hailstorm and now flooding.

"We've had our share - from ice to hail and now to river,"

Diehl said. In spite of everything, she said, "We were lucky."

Fire crews braced for more problems Tuesday, with the forecast

calling for more scattered showers.

"The ground is saturated enough," Iago said. "Who knows how

much more it can take."

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch through 7 a.m.

Tuesday for all but far northwest parts of Oklahoma.